(All bolding on this post is mine)
Allee Bautsch, a Louisiana GOP fundraiser for Gov. Bobby Jindal, was released from the hospital today. She and her boyfriend Joseph Brown endured an April 9 brutal attack by individuals outside of Brennan’s, a restaurant in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Mr. Jindal’s office released a statement today announcing Ms. Bautsch’s release from the hospital:
“Allee is home from the hospital and she continues to make good progress in her recovery from serious injuries. She now has weeks of rehabilitation ahead of her. We are refraining from further comment at this time on the investigation, because it is an open, active law enforcement investigation. We expect the authorities to find the people who did this and ensure they are brought to justice.”
The Hay Ride, a local Lousiana news blog, has been covering the case since news of the assault broke. The blog has new information to think about:
“The picture at left, of which we now have several shots, is of an individual who, if he isn’t the prime suspect in the beating of Allee Bautsch and Joe Brown, sure ought to be. Bautsch told me via e-mail this morning that the suspect she and Joe Brown described to the police “looked exactly like that, and so did the rest of them (with different color hair).” She took pains to say that she can’t make a positive identification of this man as one of her attackers, but he fits the description they gave to the New Orleans police. This is someone who needs to be questioned about the attack; there are two YouTube videos still available on which he appears.”
Sergeant Nick Gernon is the investigating officer for this case, and some points are pretty clear on the police report that should be seriously considered.
- The assailant is described by Mr. Brown as 6‘01”, thin build, thin face, beard (dark brown), dark red ponytail hair style, light colored t- shirt, dark pants. Mr. Brown also described the assailant as appearing “dirty” but not homeless.
- Both Mr. Brown and Ms. Bautsch were seriously injured as a result of the attack and required medical attention.
Ms. Bautsch sustained broken leg and was in severe pain. Her injuries were so harsh, she underwent a complex surgical procedure. Mr. Brown sustained a broken jaw as well as a broken nose in the attack and told police he lost consciousness during the attack.
- Mr. Brown was the first victim in this incident to give a statement to the police. The sergeant questioning Mr. Brown did not interview Ms. Bautsch around the same time, as she was under heavy pain medication at the time.
Mr. Brown told police what the attackers said to him and Ms. Bautsch. The remarks, while obscene in nature do not appear to be of political context. However, it is still not definite that the obscenities hurled were politically motivated.
Mr. Brown admitted to the reporting Sergeant that he (Brown) does not have clear memories of everything that happened. He said he was “dazed” during the attack and his injuries caused him to have a poor memory on some portions of what happened. In fact, when police asked him what color dress his girlfriend, Ms. Bautsch, was wearing (in order to identify the couple from camera recordings), Mr. Brown mis-identified her outfit, saying it was a blue knee high dress. A picture that was snapped of the couple after the attack shows the GOP fundraiser wearing a black top and khaki bottoms.
- Ms. Bautsch’s purse was stolen but not by her attackers.
The police report makes clear the Jindal campaign aide’s purse was stolen, but the bag was not taken by her attackers. The item was still on the scene when police arrived. This seems to indicate the attack was not driven by a robbery.
Bob Young, a public information officer for the New Orleans Police Department told me, “His [Brown’s] statement along with other interviews in the area will reveal the future of the investigation,” he explained. “We’re going along with several other interviews at this time to determine which is correct and which is not.”
Questions regarding the motive of the attack continue to swirl around the investigation. Many wonder if the attack was political in nature or at least politically motivated given that protesters, in opposition to Mr. Jindal, were on the scene throughout the entire GOP event at Brennan’s.
Officer Young agreed that it has not been determined yet if the attack was politically oriented. “However the investigator might have a different opinion depending on what his investigation is,” he said. “I release the information he gives to me, and he has not given me any indication as to whether it was politically or not politically involved.”
It should be noted that Ms. Bautsch’s mother Della Berning appeared on the Fox News Channel with host Megyn Kelly last week. Human Events writer Connie Hair provided a transcript of the interview. Ms. Hair has also been following this story from its inception. Here is an excerpt of her transcript:
KELLY: One reporter says that he spoke with the Public Information Officer at the New Orleans Police and that Public Information Officer said that insults of a political nature had been hurled at your daughter and her boyfriend during the attack. Do you have any problem with that report?
BERNING: Honestly this is not a Republican or Democrat problem, this is a problem that a young girl and her boyfriend were attacked and the story hasn’t really come out. And I just want to make sure that these guys are found. That’s the important part of this. There is accuracy in the story. I just think that yes when you do the investigation you do look at the people who were in the area at the time, to be able to bring the right people in for questioning. That’s the really important part.
If the police are doing the ground work and they’re doing the investigation correctly then certain people are definitely going to be brought in.
According to Officer Young, the NOPD will release information they feel is pertinent to the case as far as making an arrest or putting a suspect out to the media. The investigation continues to be active and ongoing.